Sunday, February 8, 2015

And The People You Meet

Yesterday was another long day being hauled down the highway. The husband's job was driving; mine was looking. You can only look so long at identical clumps of sage and miles of soft tan earth before hypnotically you begin to dose off. Huge yawns kept reminding me that I don't sleep when someone is driving. I want to be awake to witness any major calamity which could endanger my health. I try to keep my driving instructions to myself as the husband has voiced his displeasure, loudly, any time I interject my views. So far, so good. He has been event free which probably comes from all those millions of miles he has logged alone in this truck going to and from all those rig jobs. Amazing? Yes, I don't know how he has done it without me riding side kick.

Yesterday's drive provided another view of a burned vehicle complete with fire trucks and rescue vehicles. A van, unrecognizable in color as the paint was totally burned off of it was only smoldering by the time we got to the scene. This incident didn't slow us down as it was in the west bound lane while we were in the eastbound lane. I can't help but wonder about the people that have lost their vehicles to flames while on a trip. Do you just give up and go home? Rent another vehicle and go on? I'm afraid my vacation mood would have abandoned me at that point.

A few miles down the road we stopped for gas. A young couple, in separate  vehicles had stopped to get gas. The young lady, wearing a T shirt and tattered jeans, arms full tatted to the elbows was handling all the finances. Her husband, a young man in his early 20's was standing beside the truck he was driving, pulling a tall, painted dull black homemade trailer. He looked exhausted. Their trip had taken them from Alaska, down through Canada and to Mississippi where they had spent a few days with her family. The last leg of their journey was to New Mexico where she has been stationed in a branch of the military. He had mustered out a year ago and was following his wife to her new post. The young man was not happy. The trip across the frozen heaved roads of Alaska and Canada, he said, was the worst part of the trip. The credit card they carried, was the second worst part as it had failed to allow them to make charges on the last stops. They still had many miles to go before their journey ended. It might be time for them to get a room and a good night's rest but depending on her leave time, that might not be possible for them. I too was ready to get a room. Another 100 miles down the road and the Best Western Sunday House Inn in Leesville, Texas is where we ended yesterdays' trip. We are very close to San Antonio and most of the sage and sand is behind us while Luling is in our future. Stopping for some BBQ at the City Market is a must once again.

This morning, I'm in the lobby of the hotel waiting on the breakfast room to open. I didn't set my watch forward yet. I thought it was 0500 hrs. so I quietly and in the dark, made my way to the bathroom where I could turn on the light and slip into a pair of black leggings, a bright red sweater and run a brush through my hair. No makeup. I'll attend to that after coffee.

I made my way to the hotel lobby only to discover the coffee shop wouldn't be open for 2 hours!!!

Coffee sat in big urns on a black granite top table along the back wall. Paper cups and lids lined up neatly against the wall, creamers, both flavored and plain were contained in black wire baskets. Perfect!

A cup of coffee, heavily creamed, a desktop computer and I'm in business!

As I sipped my coffee, a man entered the front doors. He sang out a "good morning" which I returned to him as I swung slightly in my chair to the right to greet him. Dressed casually in a golf shirt and a pair of faded blue jeans, his full head of hair, dark at one time, interspersed with a light dusting of grey, I thought George Clooney had just appeared. The gentleman drove a white Mercedes, a few years old, visible through the double doors. He was checking out.

As he walked to the coffee urns, I asked "Do you have a long trip?"  He was very cordial and filled with energy at this early hour. He stopped and said he was on his way to Houston after having left California yesterday. When I mentioned Lafayette, he said he had spent a lot of time there. His job was in safety containment which supplies a service to people that work in mines, tanks, rigs, etc. He is a diver that has spent time hovering at depths in the ocean awaiting the workers who might get in distress so he can rescue them.  His job takes him to nuclear power plants and other areas of danger where breathing could be endangered. There was 5 of them and he is the only one left for his company. He was trained in the military as a diver. I should have asked if he was a Navy Seal.   Most interesting conversation with him.
His final question as he headed for the door "Are the crawfish in season?"
I laughed and assured him they were and they were nice this year. "I'm gonna have me some mud bugs!" he said as he moved through the double doors to his car.

Our journey today should get us home. I'm ready to be home for a while. This has been a long trip but a perfect time to be traveling. Gas prices remain low; 1.89 and 1.65 with California prices averaging 2.25/gal.

I have my sights set on New Orleans for a day trip before the heat of summer returns but that's a few weeks away.

I have one more hour to kill before the dining room is open. I'll spend some time catching up on reading the news online!
..and I'm gone.

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